Friends of Agricultural Research-Beltsville (FAR-B) Collection

Clock tower on left with blue sky, FAR-B logo in green, Friends of Agricultural Research written in blue


Introduction

Friends of Agricultural Research – Beltsville (FAR-B) is a nonprofit organization with members from academic, industry, government, and the public. The organization’s members promote the research and educational programs maintained since 1910 at USDA’s Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Maryland.

Under the leadership of former FAR-B president K. Darwin Murrell, members donated the organization’s papers to Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, in 2018. Contributors include James Anderson, Hank Becker, Jim Butcher, Essex Finney, K. Darwin Murrell, Richard Parry, Lewis Smith, Allan Stoner, and Richard Zimmerman.

Materials are in good condition. Some documents are of a financial nature and/or include personal information. These items are restricted for use by members only or by others with written permission from the donors.

Sara Lee, Special Collections Archivist, organized and described the collection in 2019.


Historical Sketch

Founders of Friends of Agricultural Research – Beltsville (FAR-B) established the organization in 1986 with the following goals:

  • disseminate information regarding significant accomplishments and expertise at Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC)
  • organize and sponsor major symposia, field days, and scientific seminars and workshops, generating funds to upgrade equipment and research facilities at BARC
  • present information and expert testimony to the U.S. Congress and others to support funding for high-priority research
  • help to develop and sponsor information and exhibits

With USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, FAR-B co-sponsors international symposia on major scientific issues or topics of concern to agriculture. FAR-B members publish symposium proceedings and make them available to the world scientific community.

FAR-B provides funding for fellowships and internships. A BARC research scientist or administrative officer may apply for the George W. Irving Fellowship for travel and study up to 6 months at a laboratory in the U.S. or abroad. FAR-B sponsors summer internships for college or high school students planning careers in science. From an endowment established by Dr. Miklas Faust, FAR-B provides the salary of a summer student working in the Fruit or Vegetable Laboratory at BARC.

With BARC scientists, FAR-B cosponsors field days to demonstrate the latest agricultural practices and technologies for visiting scientists, growers, and the public. FAR-B sponsors outreach programs to promote good public relations with students at all levels and to provide students, parents, and teachers interesting and instructive tours of BARC’s facilities. Other special events include building dedications and multicultural programs such as Black History Month (February) Women’s History Month (March), BARC Poster Session (April), “Take Your Child to Work Program” (April), and Hispanic Heritage Month (October).


Scope and Content Note

Materials in this collection include FAR-B’s articles of incorporation, by-laws, memoranda of understanding, board member information, membership directories, newsletters, board of director and annual meeting minutes, correspondence, photographs, financial papers, and program records.

The Governing Board Plant Industry Station Employees’ Association (pre-cursor to FAR-B) meeting minutes and photographs of Beltsville facilities in the 1940s document early activities at Beltsville.

FAR-B meeting minutes, newsletters, and notes from the Area Director (Agricultural Research Center) provide information about USDA employees as well as research projects and building renovations. Documentation of FAR-B sponsored activities include symposia, “Distinguished Scientist Award”, “George W. Irving Fellowship”, summer internships, field days, and other outreach programs.

Photographs of government officials visiting BARC include Congressman Steny Hoyer, Governor G. Aiken, Senator Mac Mathias, and Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz.

Mounted photographs and captions from an exhibit about BARC are part of this collection. Subjects include: B.T. Galloway (1888), Ruth F. Allen (1918), Erwin F. Smith (1920s), Fruit Investigations (1920), Market Quality Research Group (1942), Sugar Plant Investigations (1944), Tobacco Investigations (1946), Forest Pathology and Mycology Investigations (1955), Vegetable Investigations (1956), Paul Lentz – Mycology Laboratory (undated), and Paul Miller - Plant Disease Reporter (undated).


Container List

Box Title/Description
001 Administrative records: Articles of Incorporation (1985), By-Laws, and various Memoranda of Understanding between FAR-B and ARS-BARC; comments by Waldemar Klassen at first annual meeting (1987), lists of Board of Directors' contact information (1985-2011), and membership directories (1996-2000) [Restricted to members only]
002 Meeting Minutes: Governing Board Plant Industry Station Employees' Association (1955-1965) and FAR-B Board of Directors (1986-1995)
003 Meeting Minutes: FAR-B Board of Directors (1996-2002, 2005-2018) and Annual Meeting, including some agendas (1989, 1991, 1995, 1998, 2000-2003, 2006-2009, 2011-2017)
004 Newsletters (1986-2017); FAR-B and events sponsored brochures; and photographs of Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (1940s, undated), visits of government officials, and those mounted for exhibit
005 Notes from the Area Director, Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland (1962, 1972-1988, 1992-1993)
006 Programs
007 Financial: budgets, tax records, IRS correspondence, treasury reports, transactions, Klurfield agreement, Aileen Lee award program, landscape fund (2001 tornado), membership, and DPL Inc. stock history
008 Subject Files (1995-2018): Beltsville Alliance, Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber, Beltsville Area Task Force, Combined Federal Campaign, Congressional testimony, Systematic Entomology Laboratory Friends


Selected Bibliography


Sources Used for Finding Aid:

Klassen, Waldemar. “Comments made by Waldemar Klassen at first meeting”, 1987.

Friends of Agricultural Research – Beltsville, Inc. (FAR-B). http://www.far-b.org/

FAR-B Newsletters, 1986-2017. Friends of Agricultural Research-Beltsville, Inc. Collection. Special Collections Manuscript Collection 486.


Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center History Collection, 1934-2011. Special Collections Manuscript Collection 365.

Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) Symposia Records. 1987-1993. Special Collections Manuscript Collection 374.


The National Archives and Records Administration contains Record Group 310, 1906-1989, Records of the Agricultural Research Service. The online finding aid may be found at https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/310.html